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What Would Your Stuff Say About You?

May 19, 2024

Read Time: 3 minutes

I want to start today’s conversation with a phrase I’m sure you’ve heard before. Take a moment to ponder this:

You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep.

If you haven’t heard this phrase before, don’t worry. I’ll break it down for you and explain why this issue of The Clarity Club is titled the way it is.

The Company You Keep

The company you keep refers to the relationships we maintain in our lives. These relationships directly affect us: how we live, how we’re perceived, and the decisions we make.

Imagine I asked your closest friends or someone whose relationship you value most what they thought of you. What would they say? Hopefully, all good things.

Now, let’s apply this idea to our belongings—the things we surround ourselves with. What would your stuff say about you?

The Story Your Stuff Tells

Something that we don’t typically think about is that everything we own tells a story.

Whether it’s items we value or clutter we need to get rid of, our possessions reflect who we are. This concept is similar to the idea of judging a person by the company they keep.

What makes this interesting is that our clutter isn’t just a collection of memories, emotional attachments, or random junk bought at a flea market.

It can also represent a barrier between us and deeper issues we need to address.

For some, clutter acts as a shield against emotional pain, insecurities, or voids in our lives.

Now, these examples don’t apply to everyone. I understand that sometimes it’s just stuff we accumulated over the years, believing it will “come in handy” later on. Either way, I want to challenge you to think about your decluttering process differently.

Ask yourself, what would my stuff say about me?

Then comes the most challenging part—accepting the truth that comes out and taking action to let go.

A Personal Reflection

When I think back to the beginning of my journey, I realize that much of my clutter—not all of it, but most—acted as a barrier between me and my true self. During that time, I didn’t really know who I was beyond my public persona.

However, I began to challenge my thoughts and ask myself tough questions, one of them being:

What does my stuff say about me?

Here’s what I realized my clutter was saying:

  • I was secretly trying to be someone I’m not
  • Trying to please other people
  • Hoping to improve but not actually improving
  • Moving in too many directions at once
  • Confused about what I truly wanted.

Recognizing this helped me let go of unnecessary clutter, which created the space for me to grow into the person I am today.

Letting Go of Unnecessary Clutter

Here’s how to start clearing the clutter in your life so you can change the narrative around what your stuff is saying about you.

Step 1: Choose The Best Place to Start

Pick a decluttering project that sits in the overlap between low effort and high impact. Low effort projects are those you can tackle on a weekend or in a few hours with a clear action plan. On the other hand, high impact addresses the clutter that’s causing noticeable interference or friction in your daily routine. (Read this article for examples of what I mean)

Step 2: Set a Realistic Goal

There are three elements every decluttering goal you create should hit. Here’s an easy way to remember it: S.A.S.

  1. Specific: How do I want this space to function in my life so it supports my core values?
  2. Achievable: Can I achieve the functionality and results I want with the resources I have?
  3. Scheduled: When am I going to start? Pick a date and put it on the calendar.

Step 3: Let Go — Slowly

The aim of decluttering is not to strip away your sense of expression or personality from your life and home. Rushing the process of letting go can lead to this.

Instead, I encourage you to view decluttering as an opportunity to create space so the things that matter can be seen, appreciated, and used by you. This means slowing down. Find a rhythm and cadence that feels manageable without delaying progress.

Takeaway

As you embark on your decluttering journey, ask yourself, “What would my stuff say about me?” This question can guide you to a deeper understanding of your relationship with your possessions and, ultimately, with yourself.

By confronting the stories your belongings tell, you can clear the path leading to personal growth and authenticity.

I hope this reflection inspires you to look within and embrace your journey towards a more meaningful and clutter-free life.

I’ll see you next week, my friend.

 

Last words:

So, how would I answer this question today?

What does my stuff say about me?

I’ve pondered this question for a while because a lot has changed since I first discovered minimalism, but here’s where I’ve landed:

  • Secure and confident in who I am
  • Improving
  • Happy — because my stuff is no longer stealing from me

If you’d like to hear my fully fleshed-out thoughts on this, reply to this email and let me know. I may create a video diving deeper into this.

Thanks for reading, friend!

 

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